SG lady said: "Many people ask me how is it possible to work with my husband and see him 24/7?"

virus1988

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https://www.todayonline.com/gen-y-s...wizLLfeKRo6sHKyvACZJeKQ3yDesFQou5zY6-qSq6iGAQ

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Many people often ask me how is it possible to work with my husband and see him 24/7?

Both of us currently run an English tuition business called Lil’ but Mighty.

Our relatives and friends are often intrigued that a married couple can work well together. Maybe it’s because there are not many couples around us who are working together.

When we were dating, Lenard casually asked me if we wanted to do business together in the future.

We were both 26 years old then.

At that time, Lenard wanted to build a business so that we could have a legacy to leave behind for our future children.

To me, it sounded like an exciting adventure. I readily agreed as it was just a casual conversation and it sounded pretty far fetched to me at that time.

We did not have parents in business nor did we have any experience starting businesses.

We both had regular jobs. I was a primary school teacher and Lenard was an auditor.

Three years later, that casual conversation came to life.

We got married and had a baby boy. When my son turned one year old, I came to the realisation that I did not want to be spending all my time in school teaching kids, and having limited time to nurture my own child.

This was how Lil’ but Mighty started.

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I quit my job and started a tuition business at home. We used a white board and the dining room table and had children coming over to my place for English tuition classes.

In 2015, we started with fewer than 10 students. As my son grew older, we decided that we needed a bigger space as we were getting more students.

Today, Lil’ but Mighty has four centres in Singapore and we are parents to three boys aged seven, five and three.

Lenard manages the operations of the business while I’m in charge of the curriculum.

STRESS ON MARRIAGE

However, things were not always rosy.

The stress on our marriage started when we launched our first centre in 2016. Lenard had left his job to run the business with me.

Essentially, at that time there was only one other staff member and I was pregnant with my second child.

I felt pretty overwhelmed having to prepare the new space, create the curriculum, teach and manage the resources for our online community.

As Lenard was now fully committed to the business, our conversations at home became more about work.

I remember telling him once that I did not wish to talk about work and I did not want to be his co-worker when we were home.

Once, while heading home, we began talking about how we should plan a new programme. Due to our differing opinions, the discussion became pretty tense.

Our conversation had to stop when we reached home and saw the kids.

Immediately, we were all smiles but both of us were still feeling unsettled and upset. While reading a book to my sons, I could not help but start crying.

Very strangely, my boys just hugged me and told me they love me. Lenard was aware but he let the boys do their magic.

After the boys went to bed, we continued our conversation but in a much calmer manner. It ended with Lenard hugging me and telling me that I am more important than the business.

I also came to realise that we both have very different working styles. Lenard is someone who plans ahead and is very structured with his timelines.

On the other hand, I am more of a free-spirited person and am quite flexible with my time. I have the tendency to take it slowly when it comes to deadlines and then fight to the last minute.

This difference was something that caused tension between us. I felt that Lenard was not trusting me to get things done.

This initial misalignment in expectations strained our relationship and made us question whether we should stop running the business altogether.

SETTING EXPECTATIONS AND TRUSTING EACH OTHER

Thankfully, we knew that we wanted to persevere and stay together in this endeavour.

Over the years, we learnt to agree on times when we will not talk about work, for example, when we are putting the kids to bed or during family dinners.

We also made sure to have “couple time” where we go jogging or have coffee together where we can have intimate alone time.

We have become more aware of each other’s working style. I will now give Lenard the assurance that I’m working on certain things so that he knows it will get done.

He has also shown that he trusts me more with meeting deadlines.

We have come to a point where we know that we each have a different role in the business, and will work in our own way, for the good of the business.

THE LOWEST POINT

When the Government announced that centres had to close last year, there was immediate panic between us.

How could we manage this crisis?

The unexpected shutdown brought about by Covid-19 was definitely the lowest point in our business.

We started organising our work process and activated all our staff for a company-wide meeting to work towards taking all our lessons online.

When Lenard and I went back home that night, we had some time to reflect on the ups and downs we had taken the business through over the previous five years.

Although we had fewer than 20 staff members, seeing their faces during the meeting made me realise that we are not just leaders at home but leaders in our business.

Because of our work together, we have an impact on 20 lives and their families. It was a realisation that we could not have done this without each other.

I would not have started a business without Lenard. I believe that when we struggle, there will be growth.

One day, if we move on to other businesses, I know that Lenard will be by my side because we have a partnership that works.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lily Chew, 35, is founder of Lil’ but Mighty, an English tuition business with four centres island-wide.
 

snap99

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armpits look nice
 

L0L8zZ

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I'm quite sure the husband has no complaints.
 

Dinoboyboy

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chio but i have little respect for people profiting off parents. :frown:
 

Ye_Rongtian

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Lil but mighty. Very adapt for the male organ. :s13:
 

Tsoukalos

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Yadda yadda yadda smlj article ish this?
 
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